Learning to “see” culture; group dynamics, beliefs, and behaviors is always helpful at work. When you become aware you can contribute to developing a positive culture - or you can better understand what change is needed in your organization. There are roughly two ways to understand and assess the current organizational culture.
The Competing Values Framework, developed by Cameron and Quinn, is a very insightful culture model. In essence, it is a descriptive model. It is not normative - prescribing wich culture type is best. That depends entirely on your organization's situation. All four archetypes of culture have their merits - and they are described with neutral or positive characteristics. You can find more details about these culture types.
Do you have gurus or heroes who inspire you? I just discovered that I’m honored as one of thirty organizational culture gurus that you can vote on (to create a ranking within this list). This is wonderful, of course, and I hope you will vote for me.
Does your organization have a strong, homogeneous culture? Is that desirable? Does everyone hold the same values, beliefs, priorities, norms, preferences? Does everyone eat the same lunch menu every day?
What is your biggest challenge with organizational culture? That’s an extra question we ask all free respondents who use the Organizational Culture Assessment Instrument. Just because we’re curious - what are you struggling with? What do you need help with? What can I blog about to inspire you?
There’s a long list of interesting topics submitted by over 25,000 people over the last two years.
One returning topic is multinational or international collaboration. Here are some challenges people submitted:
We were sitting in a room in a foreign country: 20 executives were waiting for the CEO to arrive. I was present to facilitate the first part of their workshop on culture after they did the OCAI culture survey. People were checking their laptops, smartphones or talking softly to their neighbor. The CEO was ten minutes late.
I checked the time with the HR manager who was my contact at the company. Should we call the CEO to remind him? No, he said, he’ll arrive shortly.
How has your year been? It's time to evaluate, and develop new intentions. My intention is to inspire toward positive organizations where people and performance thrive.
OCAI Online aims to contribute to positive workplaces by offering the online culture survey so people can work on their culture.
But before we look at intentions, let's look back at my best liked 12 articles to date - including one "evergreen" article that received less likes because I didn't promote it on social media but that is worth reading!
Are you engaged at work? Are you content, and productive? Are you thriving?
Most people would answer these questions with a firm No. According to the infamous Gallup research, only 13% of workers is engaged, worldwide.
This means there is a staggering 87% of untapped potential while the world is struggling with serious challenges such as the climate challenge, sustainability, pollution, poverty, human rights, inequality, globalization, de-industrialization, refugees and migration, banking crises, tax havens, war, and conflict…
What is positive change? What is a positive organization? Why would we bother to practice positive leadership, and create a positive culture? For some, the answer is obvious, for others not at all.
As we have seen in my blog post on positive leadership: the why is rather obvious. We want to help positive change succeed and create a positive organization because it makes people happier and more productive. The performance of a positive organization can be astounding.
In my last post, I introduced you to the machine maintenance company MM that faced increasing competition and had to become more profitable. However, the CEO’s response was to push hard for more efficiency and focus on the numbers which led to micro-management. Combined with their current culture tendency to organize everything in a phonebook of rules and procedures, they were slowing down, and they felt stifled.